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The Cult Called Freedom House (Sophia Rey #1)

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Everyone but Sophia and Cyrus were going to die. They were all goners well before they knew it. And they certainly thought whatever was happening, they were helping others and saving the world doing it.

Samantha was only fourteen and looking for what every fourteen-year-old looks for - freedom. She wanted to be as far away from her substance-riddled mother and abusive home
Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published November 13th 2019 by Amazon Media
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Average rating 3.41  · 
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Janie C.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Samantha, a fourteen year old girl, finds refuge within a cult, believing that she has finally found a place where she belongs. However, cults do not deliver the true sanctuary that they promise. This is the first novella in a series centered around Officer Sophia Rey. Sophia has nightmares of her own following a tragic incident from her childhood. Nevertheless, she is determined to rescue Samantha from the cult that threatens not only her future, but her life. The tension rises as different cha ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a gory little tale about a crazy cult and the young girl and tortured policewoman who get caught up in the culty madness. This book is a debut from author Evelyn and the first in what appears to be a series. It moves at a quick pace and I would've preferred to have things slow down a little bit in order to get to know the characters better. There was also a big reveal made in the opening chapter that ruined some of the suspense for me. But that's just me. I like a slower roll out of the ...more
Sadie Hartmann
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars, rounded up for Goodreads
The Cult Called Freedom House by Stephanie Evelyn is a debut novel and the first book in a series. I have been following the author on social media (she goes by the nickname, "Sterp") and I was given this book for review consideration.
I'm impressed that this debut release has gathered so much early buzz and praise--that's the reason this book was able to jump over some of my previously scheduled review copies and land in my lap yesterday! So many of my fellow h
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oops! Didn't mean to read it so fast.

I'm really interested in cults so I knew as soon as I saw this book, I had to read it. This is a very quick read. I read it in one day. The action and horror starts straight a way. The intensity and horror just keeps growing with no end in sight. If your a fan of cults, you'll probably guess how this ends. This is the first thing I've read by Stephanie Evelyn but won't be the last.
Leviathan Libraries
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
The Cult Called Freedom House was the Ladies of Horror Fiction Goodreads Group read for the month of December.

Basically my thoughts for this book can be summed up in the following sentence: It’s a great first draft. It really is. There is so much potential in this book to be a truly excellent read. I don’t even enjoy cult-type horror stories and I found myself intrigued by what I was reading. But this was not ready to be published.

The characters are cardboard cut-outs that need fleshed out. The
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading this, I discovered that this is the author’s first book and, wow! I would never have guessed. If this is what she has to offer for her debut novel, the world of horror has something to look forward to!

I do want to warn you that the book isn’t graphic horror. I say this because the beginning of the book warns you that it’s disturbing and if you’re looking for extreme horror, you might be disappointed. While there’s certainly blood, much of the actual violence takes place off the pag
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Cult Called Freedom House is a debut novel from author Stephanie Evelyn. The story itself centers around a teenager named Samantha as she joins a Cult that calls themselves Freedom House. The cult’s leader, Cyrus, fancies himself a god on earth and has convinced his followers to believe in only him. There is a darkness coming, and only Cyrus can save them and only if they do as he commands. As Samantha progresses from initiate to full member, we learn more about the inner workings of the cul ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It always starts with just one person and one fucked up idea."

The Cult Called Freedom House is the debut novel in a new series about detective Sophia Rey. I was very interested in the story, and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen.

Although I enjoyed the story, I struggled with some aspects of the formatting. I feel like this story deserved to be expanded because it was really good, but it felt like too much was missing for me to truly get invested. I know it's going to be a series, b
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Hi, Sterp!
(to readers, there may be little spoliers in the review below, so if you don't read it, then I'll say: get this novel, it's a good read, and read more Sterp when she publishes!)

I thought this was a strong outing for a first-time novelist. The protagonist has a good backstory to make the reader sympathize with her, the writing and word usage is well done without being too purple prose, and there are some nice images throughout. It brought me down to the street-level of Santa Cruz, Cali
Kirsten LoAndBeHolt
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review is hard to write because, while I'm going to start out with a small review of the book itself, I'm going to do an overall critique of the editing. For fairness, I feel it's worth mentioning that this star rating primarily affects the editing and not the work.

The Cult Called Freedom House is the first book from new author Stephanie Evelyn. It's set to be the first novella is a series about detective Sophia Rey. TCCFH starts us off with multiple perspectives and eerie prologues, as mo
The Grim Reader
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Cult Called Freedom House certainly isn’t going to win any literary awards, however, I did enjoy myself reading this well-paced short novel. The pages seemed to fly by and I was pretty keen to get stuck back into it whenever I could. It's a harrowing tale of manipulation, abuse and cannibalism. The story gets darker and darker, and contrary to what cult leader Cyrus keeps saying, there is so little light inside of the freedom house. I thought back to the Waco siege in 1993 when cult leader D ...more
Angel Gelique
“Evil lived on. It might die away in one instance but would always be reborn into another.”

With a nasty, neglectful alcoholic mother and an absent father, fourteen-year-old Samantha Watson’s home life grows increasingly more unbearable and miserable. It isn’t long before she’s associating with some unsavory characters, exposed to drugs. It is while she is waiting for a friend on the street that she meets Miles, who informs her about a commune called Freedom House. The idea of a close-knit co
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
"There are things darker than street corners past midnight. When you have addicts looking for their kids, that's when you know there's a real problem."

When talking cults we know it's gonna be a bumpy ride. Ever heard of a cult with a happy ending? Why should this one be any different. This is book #1 in the Sophia Rey series & also the debut novel for Stephanie Evelyn.

This crime/horror involves all the topics we try to avoid thinking about, especially when it comes to children. I found
Stuff later
This was a strange book, but hey, it dealt with a cult. It was going to be strange. That being said it didn’t disappoint with the strangeness. I think it was an HA monthly book. I tell you, it was a harrowing story and it delivered all the detritus and malarkey a cult would plus a good police investigation. Very convincing.
It was between a 3.5 and 4 for me.
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
This was a quick binge read! The chapters are all very short and easy to read and the story was engrossing!
Freedom House cult is definitely a fucked up creepy place!

However, everything happens so damn fast (especially with the short chapters) that I had trouble connecting to the story.
There's so many characters with similar names and that was a little confusing and each one was introduced briefly, but not enough to feel fully fleshed out to me.

I felt like I was reading a first draft that could
Erika Lynn (shelf.inspiration)
3 Stars

“Beauty comes in many forms and sometimes it wears a mask that fools people. Sometimes it wears a mask that pretends to comfort.” - The Cult Called Freedom House.

See more on my Bookstagram: Shelf.Inspiration Instagram

REVIEW: This book follows fourteen-year-old Samantha as she runs away from home where she lives with her abusive mother and gets involved in a cult. However, the seemingly tight-knit community she decides to join has sinister secrets. When Samantha is reported as missing,
Glenn  Parker
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I was lucky enough to be given an ARC to read in return for an honest review.

First of all! wow, what an achievement. Most people dream of calling themselves a writer and actually having a finished product to show the world. It must be such an amazing feeling to put your heart and soul out into the world to share with other like-minded people who live on the fringe and thrive in the wonderful horror community. I am proud to have read this story and to take part in help making it grow, an
Tracy Robinson
Dec 18, 2019 marked it as dnf
DNF. I tried to get into this but it just wasn’t working for me.
Sea Caummisar
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. And that's by no fault of the book. But I'll get to that sooner. I do believe I read somewhere that this is the author's first book. And I say kudos to that. It's a simple read. Very interesting, depending on what you like. I want to thank the author for a review copy of this book. I found this book through a tweet and it said something along the lines "if you can stomach it." That's a challenge to me. I read Matt Shaw, Ezra Blake (patiently awaiting her next release), ...more
Cassie Daley
2.5 stars, rounded up for Goodreads! Full review on my blog:

This review is a bit of a tough one for me to write, as I became friends with the author on social media before the book’s release, and being friends with the people who write the books you read as a reviewer can sometimes be a little hard. Reviewing a book you maybe didn’t love written by a person you adore is never an easy task, even moreso when the book being read is their debut. That said, I
Well Read Beard
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
First, let's talk about this cover. It is gorgeous. I am sitting here trying to think of a cover that pulls me in this much and I cannot.

This book gave me characters that I cared about, an intriguing setting and horror ( lots of horror). Samantha is 14 years old, I have a 14 year old daughter. So, for me, everything she was going through hit a bit closer to home. This is a study on wanting to fit in, wanting to find a home, and ultimately wanting to be free. We get deep into cult psychology and
Yolanda Sfetsos
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, horror, kindle
I was really excited when Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi sent me a review copy of this book. It's one I've heard great things about on Twitter, and was totally intrigued by. And I love that creepy cover.

Samantha is fourteen, lives with her deadbeat mother, and dreams of running away. Sophia is a tough cop living with a haunting memory from her childhood. Detective Salvino doesn't want a repeat of what happened six years ago when he dealt with a cult.

Now, young kids are disappearing and everything leads t
Scott Murray
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I simply just couldn’t put it down. After reading the first couple of chapters last night before bed, I finished it today. The characters felt so real and the story cinematic in a way that made me want to just keep reading until it was done!
Sonora Taylor
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 ⭐️. Excellent cult horror and a stunning debut.

I was really impressed with Evelyn's debut novel. I was drawn into the cult, the heroines, the world, all of it. It was very well done and disturbed me in all the right places. Evelyn is an author to watch.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-list-2019
Holy hell. Cult stories scare the crap out of me, and this certainly didn’t disappoint. This is the first book in what I believe will be a new series showcasing damaged police officer Sophia Rey. A tragic event from Rey’s past compels her to wade full on into what is essentially a living nightmare. Freedom House, home to cult leader Cyrus and his creepy as hell followers. Beatings, cannibalism, brain reprogramming, and other unspeakable acts are all present in this house of horrors. Speaking of ...more
Michael Clark
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are many forms of horror: Slashers, eerie/chilling, gory, demonic, etcetera, and in Stephanie Evelyn’s foreword she tells us: “This book is not for the faint of heart.” Okay, fair warning. I usually like my horror on the “chilling” side, but when I read her warning, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride through her haunted house, and I was free to get off now if I wanted to—but of course I chose to stay, and I’m glad I did. I had a lot of fun.
Were there times when I didn’t want her to “go there
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been hearing a lot of good buzz about this book from people I interact with on Twitter and it did not disappoint.

This is Stephanie Evelyn's debut novel but you cannot tell it. Any veteran writing would be proud to have written this. It is dark, ominous and unsettling because of how real it feels. You won't find any monsters lurking within these pages other than the most monstrous creatures of all: us, humans. This novel delves into the human psyche and how easily some of us can go about in
Brennan LaFaro
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Readers, prepare yourselves, for The Cult Called Freedom House is now upon us. Stephanie Evelyn has unleashed her debut novel upon the world, and so long as you think you can take it, you don’t want to miss it.

Evelyn introduces us to Officer Sophia Rey, our protagonist who comes with a bit of baggage. We get to know a bit of her backstory, but I suspect there may be more to unpack in future adventures. In this, the first book in the series, Sophia Rey is investigating the disappearance of a tee
Kimberly Godwin
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Fourteen year old Samantha Watson is an abused young woman, longing to escape her drug addicted mother and her mother’s string of drug addicted and abusive boyfriends. Starving and alone, she takes to the streets to fill her days wandering the boardwalk area of Santa Cruz until she is found by a man on a grocery run from a group called Freedom House. He offers her a food, a safe place to live, and more importantly a chance for ultimate freedom.

Detective Sophia Rey is haunted by the failure of a
Melissa (honeybee.reads)
This is the first book in what seems to be a series and also a debut for this author. It was an enjoyable read throughout but there was something missing, I would've enjoyed more character depth and development.

The book did move at a relatively fast pace. I was still intrigued through it all and cults really do fascinate me. It was definitely sometimes gross, disturbing and gory. Some parts made me cringe at how disgusting human beings can really be. How one person can take advantage of others
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